PlusNet - standard of service up for debate

  [DELETED] 00:48 26 Aug 2003

Well, I was going to leave my own personal views on the ISP known, under one of it's many names, as PlusNet, however I notice a few people around the PCA forums recommending PlusNet.

Now, being a longstanding member of this forum, I understand that each and everybody are entitled to their own views on just about everything, hence I am likely to upset people who are really pleased with the services they are being offered by PlusNet, and the level of customer service they are currently being given. I therefore apologise for this, but I do believe potential customers of PlusNet must, at the very least, learn how they can treat those customers who have been extremely loyal to them for a very long time indeed.

Our company originally began trading with them many, many years back, in the days when they named themselves Force9 and other such names. We were overwhelmed by the superb level of service they offered us, and their understanding attitude in offering us the website solution we desired. Their level of customer service could not be faulted, even when you rang them early in the hours of the morning.

As all businesses hopefully do, PlusNet began to grow in size, but this was soon to prove unfortunate for existing customers.

My view now is that I would not go anywhere near PlusNet anymore. Their customer service had taken one huge dive and technical support representatives were often really quite arrogant and rude when we rang them up. Replies ranged from 'it is not our problem' to 'thank you for pointing out how you solved this problem - we will make sure other technical support assistants know how to sort this problem out in the future'. These particular remarks were to do with almost a 2 year dial-up problem, the latter remark being their final response after I told them how I solved their issue. PlusNet had neglected to inform us that, in the advent of a new service only allowing modems to latch on their network if you supply your own, valid, telephone number you are using to connect with, old customers must tell PlusNet what their telephone number is so that their servers would know that our connection is a genuine connection. After such a long period of costly modem connections bizarrely dropping mid-session and ringing up technical support to find out why, this stank. At their request, I even sent them our own modem logs. Years of inconvenience which could have been solved early on if they told existing customers that they now had to submit their telephone number.

Perhaps I was a victim of expansion, in that 'free' services were now being offered as well as the existing packages for paying customers.

To top it all, before I left, a more serious problem occurred. PlusNet had billed our company for the renewal of a domain name that was not due to expire for nearly three months! We promptly asked for a refund and the longstanding argument was that PlusNet could not do so because they had to bill for domains coming up for renewal. We mentioned trading standards and then they suddenly 'realised' that it was bad practice to bill customers three months in advance, and refunded us, even though we had instructed them not to renew the domain name in the first place. This is sad really, since the very first person I spoke to at PlusNet, on this matter, told me that this billing, so much in advance, should simply not have taken place and that three months, for anybody, should be enough to cancel a renewal of a domain.

After years of, what was originally extremely good service (when they were smaller and only billed customers), after they had started offering free hosting services, in my view, their respect for paying customers became abysmal. My personal opinion is that they are just not professional in their actions, which is a shame considering they are backed, from what I gather, by a large electronics firm in the US. From what I observed when I was a customer of theirs, they used their online support ticketing system (which happens to be the only thing I really liked about this company since all internal and external enquiries were tracked) to apportion blame to a different body of people.

After being such a longstanding customer of theirs, sadly, since PlusNet (or Force9) had originally been very good, I recommended a change of Host and ISP since this level of service was simply not of a professional level. We immediately moved hosts.

  [DELETED] 00:48 26 Aug 2003

Thus this is my view of PlusNet. I am acquainted with a few more people who have been dissatisfied with PlusNet, however, I am certain there will be people who strongly believe they are superb and should be recommended. Naturally, I can not account for their ADSL services, however one would presume the same technical support systems are used.

I wonder what other peoples' accounts of PlusNet are and how they feel about them. PlusNet might have improved and if so, it would be pleasing since a company should not be put down forever. It would be nice to hear from those who think PlusNet are good, but equally, I would also like to hear from those who, in the past, had thought the same as myself on the issue of PlusNet. I thank you for taking your time in reading my account of PlusNet.

  [DELETED] 08:23 26 Aug 2003

I have been with f9 broadband since feb this year, support has been excellent as are their prices, £18.99 per month.

On the one occasion that I have had to contact technical dept. their response was quick and efficient. I was well pleased.

Plus the on-line servce and help forum seems very good, as any problems are quickly posted to keep customers informed.

Sorry to hear that you have had problems and hope that it is sorted now.

  rickf 10:15 26 Aug 2003

I 've been very happy with Plusnet, coming to its 2nd yr. I have found that they always inform you in advance of any outtage which is very helpful and its a co I find quite generally is sensitive to customer needs, Sorry about your experience.

  [DELETED] 13:13 26 Aug 2003

This is good news. I am glad they are improving. I am also really pleased the response, thus far, has not been a 'backlash' so to speak, and that you understand what I have gone through. Unfortunately, there can be those who would rather believe the consumer is in the wrong and should give the company in question a break. I did give them plenty of time to improve but they simply did not. Though I am glad they are giving quality customer service to some people otherwise the company would be awful! Just make sure you know what you're doing and you should be fine with PlusNet - they were baffled at my dial-up problem when, really, they should have been able to tell me the solution immediately! :-)

  [DELETED] 15:14 26 Aug 2003

They're not bad, had 'em for about a year at home. The only minor prob I encountered was their tech girl spoke at 300 miles an hour. Shame I didn't tape our talk and then I could've played it back slowwwwly. I solved my prob with advice from these forums in the end. If I get b/b from my new home I'll use Datanet (as from work). They're brill support.

  [DELETED] 16:43 26 Aug 2003

Interesting news but I checked out the complaints about all ISP providers in particular before choosing plusnet. Obviously some people had initial connection problems & other smaller matters but compared to the other ISPs plusnet have the smallest amount of dissatisfied customers that I could see. It is honesty with customers that dictates business growth so that a trust is developed. Perhaps the business did become spoiled by the push for a bigger slice of the ADSL market. Sad about that human error creeps in as you employ more & more

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